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Crown Fibre to sort out Mr Fixit’s Clusterfix

Clare Curran

Associate ICT Spokesperson

5 December 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Crown Fibre to sort out Mr Fixit’s Clusterfix

National is running a seat-of-the-pants government by re-negotiating the $1 billion UFB Chorus contract on the basis of a verbal briefing, Labour’s associate Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

“Ernst and Young was called in to analyse Chorus’ financial position. Labour supported a full and independent forensic analysis. But rather than completing and releasing a full accounting of the company’s position, Ernst and Young has only provided a verbal briefing to the minister.

“Renegotiating a $1 billion contract on the basis of a verbal briefing is poor process and shonky politics. Ernst and Young appears to be a figleaf for another round of National’s corporate welfare.

“That is not acceptable. New Zealanders must see the full details in black and white so they can judge for themselves whether Chorus can fulfil the roll-out under the contract terms. It should be possible to enforce the UFB contract and Chorus should remain viable in the medium to long term.

“National’s damage control has trampled all over the credibility and authority of the Commerce Commission, which is supposed to be an independent regulator. Investors are now looking askance at the regulatory framework of this country.

“Before the much heralded Ernst and Young review has even been completed the Government is calling in Crown Fibre Holdings to clean up the mess it created.

“Steven Joyce negotiated the UFB contract with Chorus in 2011. Despite knowing that the Commerce Commission was going to review the price of copper broadband, he pretends that neither he nor Chorus factored that in.

“Steven Joyce – the self-proclaimed Mr Fixit – has made such a mess of the Chorus UFB contract the Government has turned it into a clusterfix. It is time he dropped his Mr Fixit moniker for good,” says Clare Curran.


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